Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Lee, Sharon and Miller, Steve - Liaden 05 - Local Custom (1) Each person shall provide his clan of origin with a child of his blood, who will be raised by the clan and belong to the clan. And this shall be Law for every person of every clan . . .

Master trader Er Thorn knows the local custom of Liaden is to be matched with a proper bride, and provide his prominent clan Korval with an heir. Yet his heart is immersed in another universe, influenced by another culture, and lost to a woman not of his world. And to take a Terran wife such as scholar Anne Davis is to risk his honor and reputation. But when he discovers that their brief encounter years before has resulted in the birth of a child, even more is at stake than anyone imagined. Now, an interstellar scandal has erupted, a bitter war between two families—galaxies apart—has begun, and the only hope for Er Thorn and Anne is a sacrifice neither is prepared to make . . .

A totally lovely reread of a series that has been a keeper ever since a friend introduced me to it. I moved to hardcover with the series and eagerly await new books.

I decided to go in chronological order for my reread and I found myself wondering if this would be the best way for a new reader to go. There were parts where I found myself harking back to what I could remember of the later books (which were, in fact, written first). It'll be interested to see what I think when I get up to the ones that were written first.

I have taken copious notes (does anyone know how to get the annotations I've put on a Stanza ebook back off the phone to save for future reference?) mostly on things I think might be important later. Doing this, does make me feel like I've taken the entirety of the book on board this time, which I don't think I did on a first reading where I was eager to see where the story went. These are definitely books that need to be reread.

I could see some of the romance tropes the authors choose to use in their SF book - mostly the "big misunderstanding" where the hero and heroine are at odds over something that could be solved with a conversation. The difference here is that Lee and Miller had it work by introducing the differing "local customs" of Liad and Terra, so even when Er Thom and Anne thought they were communicating, they were sometimes at cross purposes without knowing it because of their different base points of understanding. This is a major part of the book - it is its title after all - and I think it is done well. As is the resolution, when finally, each works out that they had taken the other's words according to their own meaning and takes the time to work out what the other had meant according to that other's own understanding.

I am really enjoying rereading the series, and I look forward to picking up Scout's Progress after a break reading something else. The random number generator picked Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince, so I'll give that a try tomorrow morning.

Local Custom
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller 
Liaden Universe®, Book 1 (in my own personal reading order)
Read: 6-6-10 to 15-6-10

Liaden Universe® (in my own personal reading order)

  1. Local Custom
  2. Scout’s Progress (Goodreads link)
  3. Mouse and Dragon (Goodreads link)
  4. Conflict of Honors (Goodreads link)
  5. Agent of Change (Goodreads link)
  6. Carpe Diem (Goodreads link)
  7. Plan B (Goodreads link)
  8. I Dare (Goodreads link)
  9. Crystal Soldier (Goodreads link)
  10. Crystal Dragon (Goodreads link) 
  11. Balance of Trade (Goodreads link)
  12. Fledgling
  13. Saltation (Goodreads link)
  14. Liaden Unibus I (Goodreads link)
  15. Liaden Unibus II (Goodreads link) 
  16. Ghost Ship (due 2011)

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